Welcome to today’s business and media intelligence, with insights collected over the past 24 hours as we enter the third week of Australia’s strict social distancing rules.

International news

  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. have reported first quarter earnings in the US, acting as a bell weather for the broader economy. They haven’t seen a wave of loans go bad yet, but they are preparing for it, with JPMorgan setting aside $6.8 billion in the quarter for potential bad loans. Read more in the WSJ here. (Subscriber Access)
  • While COVID-19 is “exposing the errors of leaders with merciless speed”, according to The Economist the popularity of incumbent governments tends to rise during crises. However, these small gains don’t compensate for the long-term risks the pandemic poses, says the magazine.
  • Leading Chinese media outfit Caixin has revealed that at least half of its information has been suppressed, according to the editor who oversaw the paper’s investigation into the spread of COVID-19 in Wuhan. The paper’s publisher has said “if it’s not absolutely forbidden, we do it.” Read more in The Australian. (Subscriber Access)

Australian company news 

  • More bad news for commercial media – Australian Community Media to shut down printing, News Corp warns of tougher times
    • ACM, which owns 160 titles across regional and rural Australia, will stop publishing some non-daily papers and instead run reduced online coverage. Daily titles such as The Canberra Times and Newcastle Herald will continue to be printed. ACM has also given notice to 30 landlords of offices across the country that it will exist leases. Read the ABC article here.
    • In an update to the US Securities Exchange Commission, News Corp has warned the spread of coronavirus will hit Foxtel and Kayo subscriptions given the cancellation of most live sports, while listing volumes will impact REA Group. Read the announcement here.
    • Meanwhile, the Federal Government has announced a $50 million relief package for struggling media organisations as well as suspending TV broadcast obligations and waiving spectrum tax fees. Read more in The SMH here. (Subscriber Access)

Australian markets 

  • Nick Xenophon: changes to the Corporations Act bad news for accountability
    • In an opinion article, former Senator Xenophon says last week’s changes to the Corporations Act are threatening corporate accountability. Those changes included freezing class actions, allowing online AGMs and protections for companies and directors on disclosures. Read the oped in The New Daily here.
  • A new breed of leaders
    • Former CEO of AMP Andrew Mohl believes now is the time for more aggressive leadership with “accountability, speed and… ruthless execution”. Mohl also predicts “well-managed companies with experienced, well-informed boards would emerge from the crisis in strong position”. Read the full AFR interview here. (Subscriber Access)
  • Supply chains, online shopping and employment tipped to attract more attention from companies
    • Investment strategist Giselle Roux tells the AFR that the three areas likely to attract attention for companies are: reduced dependence on a narrow source to de-risk supply chain; a real contribution from online sales; and hesitation to grow the workforce. Read more in The AFR here. (Subscriber Access)

Our daily briefing is not meant to be a summary of media coverage but rather, insights that may be helpful in understanding how organisations are communicating with stakeholders in a time of crisis – and what comes next. Sign up via email